Self-Driving

Audi opens Silicon Valley R&D office for development of advanced driver assistance systems

Audi's new Sand Jose office puts them in close proximity to Silicon Valley's software development team.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has opened a new research and development office in San Jose, California with the aim of designing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) specifically for the North American market. Audi sees the location of the office (A2D2) as the key to its success, with the ability to collaborate with startup companies located within Silicon Valley.

"Given the rapid advancement of driver assistance technologies in North America, it's important to be part of the latest breakthroughs, work with leading edge of technology startups and attract the top talent," said Frank Grosshauser, senior director, ADAS, Audi of America. "We're looking to bring on as many as 60 engineers to develop new functionalities, catered specifically to North American Audi customer needs."

Audi Silicon Valley R&D A2D2 A fleet of Audi Q7s are being used to test engineering advances.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

According to the automaker, the U.S. is expected to continue to lead the development of ADAS capabilities based on artificial intelligence. The cloud-supported process will push more advanced Level 2 and higher automated systems in the coming decade for use globally.

Level 2 driving automation is defined as enabling a vehicle to control both steering and acceleration/deceleration. It is not considered self-driving because a human sits in the driver's seat and can take control of the vehicle at any time.

What makes A2D2 unique is its focus on developing hardware and software specifically for North American roads and driving behaviors.

A2D2's first stage of activation included outfitting Audi Q7 development vehicles with roof-mounted sensor kits to collect data. Each was wrapped with a QR code that links to a webpage with information regarding the latest Audi automated driving breakthroughs and developments. Designers working in the Audi Design Loft in Malibu, California, created the unique graphics and logo specifically for A2D2.

The fleet of testing vehicles will be used for data acquisition to develop various cloud-based automated driver-assistance functions planned for introduction by 2023.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Cadillac will give the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing carbon fiber seats.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac continues to tease its long-awaited Blackwing sedans. The company is using the Blackwing monknier to designate their top-performing models of the CT4 and CT5.

Those models will also wear the "V' designation and be given the full name Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing. They will both be 2022 model year vehicles.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing testing This CT5-V Blackwing was spotted testing at Virginia International Raceway, Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has slowly been leaking out details of the models, even as the market moves away from sedan sales. We know now know that Cadillac CT-5 Blackwing will feature racing inspired seats. According to the automaker, "The carbon fiber seat back will feature a precision book-matched design and laser-etched V-Series logo. The seats will also include other customer-centric innovations and features that will be announced at a later date."

Cadillac also confirmed that the model is a limited edition.

We already have seen a picture of the cars' interior. That photo showed a new performance steering wheel that is crafted with leather and cut-and-sewn stitching. It features a 12 o'clock red racing stripe, carbon fiber trim, and a V-Series emblem. That emblem is designed to envoke nostalgia for Cadillac's championship-winning heritage on the track. Cadillac has designed the wheel with driver ergonomics as a priority.

The new models will feature V-Mode and a Performance Traction Management system that can be accessed on the left- and right-hand side of the wheel, respectively.

Additional buttons on the steering wheel are more typical to the General Motors lineup. They feature heated steering wheel, follow distance, cruise control, phone call/Bluetooth, and volume controls.

Each V-Series Blackwing model will feature a specially tuned chassis, vehicle control technologies, and engines. The models will be offered with a manual transmission.

The CT5-V Blackwing will be available starting in summer 2021. Expect pricing to be around the $60,000 mark.

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Teachers from Houston, Tampa, and Detroit can be entered to win.

Photo by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

With more parents having a larger hand in educating their children for the last seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's become apparent to many just how tough being a teacher can be. Maaco, the world's largest provider of auto paint and collision services, is rewarding one lucky teacher with a free MAACOver as part of a new giveaway.

The giveaway can include an exterior paint job, deep cleaning, and collision/damage repair. These are all services that Maaco offers as part of its menu.

Teachers of grades K-12 can nominate themselves or students and community members can nominate a deserving educator via Macao.com. Only teachers in Houston, Tampa, and Detroit are eligible.

Nominations must be submitted by October 5. Winners will be announced October 19.

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